The Legend of Korra: “Venom of the Red Lotus” Book 3 Finale Review

In The Legend of Korra‘s most satisfying finale, Zaheer’s plans for the Avatar are finally enacted.

Zaheer has members of the Red Lotus cover Korra in the poison revealed at the end of Enter the Void. The poison will send her into the Avatar State, which is when Ghazan and Ming-Hua will kill her, destroying the Avatar lineage.

With Jinora able to project into the other room and find out Zaheer’s plan, she prepares to free the airbenders just when Team Avatar comes to their rescue. Asami gets an awesome moment taking down one of the guards. This was definitely a finale that wanted to give every character a moment to shine.

Back with the villains, Korra fights the Avatar State as best as she can. In an effective callback, the members of the Red Lotus become hallucinations of Amon, Unalaq, and Vaatu. Finally, she can’t hold it anymore.

But there’s a flaw in Zaheer’s plan: the Red Lotus still has to take down an Avatar in the Avatar State. Korra looked awesome as she broke her chains and swung one onto her forearm. She chased Zaheer right out of the room just as Mako and Bolin arrive to fend off the other two.

The final showdowns this season were top notch. Korra vs. Zaheer played like the opposite of Aang vs. Fire Lord Ozai in the Avatar: The Last Airbender series finale. The two flew around each other with Korra hurling boulders and fireballs at the high-flying villain. It was exciting and emotional.

Meanwhile, the final fight between the brothers and Ghazan and Ming-Hua is on. Just when Ming-Hua seems down, she goes all octopus-like at Mako. But he has one more trick to pull: lightning. Two down, two to go.

Bolin uses his newfound lavabending to keep up with Ghazan before Mako can join in and give him extra support. Ghazan then claims to take the whole place down with him. Looks like Ghazan and Ming-Hua are dead.

Back in the air, the poison starts to take hold of Korra. Cue Jinora getting all the airbenders together to form a vortex to suck Zaheer and Korra down to them. In one last bit of strength, Korra uses her last chain to slam Zaheer to the ground, allowing Lin and Suyin to trap him in rock. Take note that this is the first Korra finale without a deus ex machina that actually allows our characters to achieve something. Finally.

With Korra on the brink of death, Suyin pulls the metal-based poison out of her, reviving her and proving that Zaheer failed right in front of him.

The final scene of the season brought us two weeks forward. Korra is in a wheelchair, but gets one last bit of encouragement from Asami, after a season full of great scenes shared between the two. Korra seems both physically and mentally devastated. Who wouldn’t be?

Asami wheels her over to Jinora’s tattoo ceremony where she is thanked by President Raiko. But Raiko wonders who will protect the world with Korra temporarily incapacitated. Tenzin has an idea.

Before granting his daughter an airbending master, he announces the new direction of the Air Nation. They will serve as protectors and peacekeepers all over the world (yes, yes, just like Jedi…). Jinora takes off her hood to reveal a newly shaved head parted in the middle with a familiar blue arrow. I can’t he;p but admit a tear rolled down my cheek at the realization that she looked just like Aang. Korra couldn’t help it either.

And that’s a close on Book 3: Change. Every moment in this epic finale delivered. Korra finally took down a villain without a deus ex machina showing up. Yes, Jinora and the airbenders helped out, but that ended up being the larger arc of the season anyway. The action delivered and the emotions ran high. You can’t ask for more, yet Korra delivered with a final scene that tells us the fight isn’t over but sends us into Book 4, the final one, on an uplifting note. Doesn’t get much better than that. Grade: A

By Matt Dougherty

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *